TV Recap – In the First Episode of “Star Wars: The Acolyte,” a Murder Mystery Begins to Unfold Among the Jedi

Now that Lucasfilm’s highly anticipated live-action series Star Wars: The Acolyte has made its debut on Disney+, below is my brief recap of its first exciting episode.

Episode 1 of The Acolyte, entitled “Lost / Found,” begins with title card text which informs us that this story takes place 100 years before the rise of the Empire. It also rather erroneously claims that “the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic have prospered for centuries without war,” omitting the Nihil war from The High Republic that would have taken place fairly recently at this point in the Star Wars timeline. Then we cut to the planet Ueda (newly introduced here), where a lone assassin approaches a settlement and asks for the location of its Jedi. This assassin is Mae (played by Amandla Stenberg from The Hunger Games) and her target is Jedi Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix franchise and Memento), who she challenges to attack her without provocation. “Jedi do not attack the unarmed,” replies Indara, but Mae begins to wreak havoc in the restaurant where she found her quarry, to the point where the Jedi Master is forced to intervene. A vigorous fight breaks out, with Mae first attempting to kill Indara without any weapons, but then resorting to the use of small metallic blades vs. the Jedi’s lightsaber. The battle comes to an end when Mae distracts Indara by threatening the life of the alien bartender, then impaling her with one of the deadly blades.

After the show’s title, we cut to the Corporate Sector of the Star Wars galaxy, AKA CorpSec, where another girl who looks exactly like Mae wakes up from a nightmare. This is Osha (also played by Stenberg), who worked as a “meknek” aboard a Trade Federation ship, regularly venturing out into space to repair the hull. Soon Osha’s Neimoidian bosses are surprised to see a Jedi Vector starfighter approaching, and two visitors board their ship: Jedi Knight Yord Fandar (Russian Doll’s Charlie Barnett) and his Padawan learner Tasi Lowa (newcomer Thara Schoon). These two Jedi have arrived to interrogate Osha, who has been placed at the scene of Master Indara’s murder, according to a number of witnesses. It turns out that Osha is a former Jedi Padawan herself, and left the Order under circumstances that are not fully disclosed as of yet. Osha denies the charge but she is taken into custody anyway, with Yord placing her aboard a droid-operated prison ship heading for Coruscant at the heart of the Republic. Speaking of Coruscant, the next scene introduces us to Jedi Master Sol (Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae), who is teaching a class of Younglings at the Jedi Temple there. Enter Vernestra Rwoh (Rebecca Henderson, also from Russian Doll, playing a Mirialan Jedi character established in The High Republic novels), who informs Sol of the crime because Osha is his former apprentice.

Back on the prison ship, Osha is pestered by some fellow detainees to help them escape, but she refuses, claiming she has faith in the Jedi. They enact their plan anyway, disabling the droid pilots and warden and causing the ship to fly into an asteroid field. The prisoners use all the escape pods, leaving Osha stranded on the ship and bracing for a crash landing. On Coruscant, we are introduced to Master Sol’s current Padawan Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen from Logan and the His Dark Materials series on HBO), who questions him about his connection to Osha. Then they proceed to the Jedi Temple’s holding cells, where the Jedi have easily captured the various prisoners who escaped from the ship. Sol interrogates one of them using the Force and learns that Osha actually tried to help him but he betrayed her. Next we see Osha having survived the crash on the snow planet Carlac (which was introduced in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series), where she chases a vision of a young girl who we learn is her twin sister Mae, and we get a series of rapid-fire flashbacks hinting at their past together. On Coruscant, Sol and Jecki enlist Yord for their mission to retrieve Osha from Carlac, and on the way there Sol tells Jecki a little about his experience with the twins, and how Mae started a fire that killed their whole family on Brendok.

They arrive on Carlac and track Osha into a cave where, in a scene straight out of the 1993 Harrison Ford movie The Fugitive, the chase ends at an opening with Osha looking out over a long fall below. But here Sol manages to catch Osha with the Force before she plummets, and when she says she thinks her sister Mae is alive, Sol responds with, “I believe you.” Then we cut to an unnamed planet where Mae walks along a shoreline and approaches a red-bladed lightsaber-wielding villain character who wears a mask to disguise his face. The masked stranger informs Mae that “an Acolyte kills without a weapon.” That marks the somewhat abrupt ending of this first episode of The Acolyte.

The first two episodes of Star Wars: The Acolyte are now available to stream, exclusively via Disney+.

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Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.